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The Colour of Magic [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 1990 Discworld (Book 1)
On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out.  There's an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet...

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"One of the best, and one of the funniest English authors alive:
-Independent

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"One of the best, and one of the funniest English authors alive:
-Independent

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Behold the Discworld June 15 2006
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
In The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett introduces us to the Discworld, a flat planet held aloft by four great elephants, all of which ride on the back of the cosmic turtle called Great A'Tuin as he (or possibly she) purposely plods through the universe toward his (or her) unknown Destination. Having read many of the Discworld novels, I was rather struck by the fact that so much of what was to come was incorporated into this original novel, not only in terms of the characters but also in terms of the unique geological, geographical, and meteorological characteristics of the most unique world in the multiverse, from the grandeur of the Rimfall "close to the edge" to the singular city of Ankh-Morpork to the previously mythical Counterweight Continent. In terms of characterization, which is one of Pratchett's most gifted abilities, many of the individuals we encounter here are easily recognizable and described in the same exact terms in later novels. The humor, which is really what makes the Discworld series so wildly popular, is also here in great abundance. Pratchett can make something very funny with a mere word, deftly structuring sentences in a seemingly simple yet utterly brilliant way that few writers can match even on their best days. This book isn't as funny as most of the Discworld books that followed, but it can still make you laugh out loud at any given moment. One thing this book does lack, in comparison with its younger Discworld brethren, is Pratchett's brilliant and heavy use of satire. It may be wrong of me to judge this novel in comparison with other Discworld novels, but I certainly think the absence of constantly biting satire explains why this book is only incredibly funny rather than downright hilarious. Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic silliness Oct. 18 2005
Format:Paperback
If you haven't travelled Pratchett's Discworld yet, you're not alone. Mr. Twoflowers hasn't travelled it yet, and he lives there. Feel free to join him and his reluctant guide, Rincewind, as they sample Discworld's dives, tavern brawls, dragons, assassins, pirates, and a charming assortment of near-death experiences.
Twoflowers has the tourist's implacable confidence that every demonic temple, every hero with a magic sword, every brigand, and every catastrophe of nature was placed and scheduled for his amusement - and will hold still for a picture. He's also quite convinced that, as a tourist, he's immune to any possible harm.
That premise gives Pratchett's comic genius plenty to work with. Even Death - the Reaper himself - is just a straight man in this world. (There's also The Luggage, but I'll let you discover that for yourself.)
This is the first book in a long-lived series, and gets it off to a great start. I have to warn you, though, there's no such thing as one Pratchett book. Even one is enough to cause addiction.
//wiredweird
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Colorful "Magic" Sept. 9 2005
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Terry Pratchett is now a publishing superstar, thanks to his witty, wonky Discworld series. But the Discworld series didn't start off on such good ground. In first Discworld novel "The Colour of Magic," Pratchett lets his plot get away from him and meander over the edge of the Disc.

Discworld is a flat planet, balanced atop four elephants that stand on a giant turtle's back. And somewhere on that vast Disc is Rincewind the wizard -- cowardly, greedy, unlucky, a dropout and not very good at what he does. Enter Twoflower, a rather clueless tourist, and the Luggage, which walks around on hundreds of tiny legs.

Despite the fact that he doesn't want to, Rincewind is required to help the Discworld's first tourist ever (it's Twoflower, in case you're wondering). They're attacked by thieves, gamble with gods, encounter Death (who speaks ALL IN CAPITALS), and bumble through magical spells that can cause some major problems. But that isn't the biggest problem, when they encounter the very edge of the Disc...

"Colour of Magic" doesn't have much of a plot -- it basically has a long string of confusing, unhappy incidents that plague Rincewind, and it ends on an unsatisfying note. But at least the ride is fairly fun -- Pratchett spoofs the fantasy cliches with wink-nudge fervor.

Pratchett peppers his satirical little novel with lots of fun ideas, such as the quirky gods of Discworld and the dragon that vanishes if you stop believing in it. Unfortunately, the dialogue and writing aren't quite up to par. At times it's the delicious tone of British comedy, and sometimes it's so serious that it seems like Pratchett is writing an entirely different novel. Moreover, the plot meanders all over the place, as if he were making it up as he went.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic silliness Sept. 1 2005
Format:Paperback
If you haven't travelled Pratchett's Discworld yet, you're not alone. Mr. Twoflowers hasn't travelled it yet, and he lives there. Feel free to join him and his reluctant guide, Rincewind, as they sample Discworld's dives, tavern brawls, dragons, assassins, pirates, and a charming assortment of near-death experiences.
Twoflowers has the tourist's implacable confidence that every demonic temple, every hero with a magic sword, every brigand, and every catastrophe of nature was placed and scheduled for his amusement - and will hold still for a picture. He's also quite convinced that, as a tourist, he's immune to any possible harm.
That premise give Pratchett's comic genius plenty to work with. Even Death - the Reaper himself - is just a straight man in this world. (There's also The Luggage, but I'll let you discover that for yourself.)
This is the first book in a long-lived series, and gets it off to a great start. I have to warn you, though, there's no such thing as one Pratchett book. Even one is enough to cause addiction.
//(...)
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended.
For anyone who likes alternative worlds, great storylines, humour, clever observations of people and a light easy read, this book and its sequel The Light Fantastic (the only... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chris Graham aka The Story Reading Ape
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Discworld! It's like Monty Python meets The Hobbit
What an insane book.
For the first 40 pages I had no idea who was who or what was what. And by the end, Im still not entirely sure. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Koopa90
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets fantasy
The title of my review pretty much says it all. This is a whitty, satirical book like the Hitchiker series, only it draws upon fantasy cliches and ideas. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2011 by A. Volk
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It.
It's awesome satire. Satire at it's best. Well done Terry Pratchett.The Color of Magic: A Discworld Novel
Published on Sept. 29 2010 by Mark Twain
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone
I generally like fantasy literature. The fact that there are so many novels in the Discworld series amazed me so I tried to give a try to the first book of the series. Read more
Published on March 3 2010 by S. Lavigne
4.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding !
"The Color of Magic" is the first book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld Series. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated... Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2007 by Craobh Rua
5.0 out of 5 stars A marveouls satiric Fantasy
This is a great book by many things, for one, the whole world and characters are a cartoon of our own world and beliefs, and then Pratchett uses simple, intriguing plots without... Read more
Published on June 17 2003 by Roberto Macías
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulously funny book that reminds me of Xanth books
Combine a great reader with a great author and you can't go wrong. The style of comedy employed in these books reminds me of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't read this one first
I don't think that this book should be the first in the series you read, even though it is the first book. Read more
Published on May 22 2002
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